22 Nov 2011

Rat spotted on bird sanctuary island

2:56 pm on 22 November 2011

The Department of Conservation has spotted a rat on Mana Island.

The entire island is classified as a bird sanctuary and is about 3km off the coast of Wellington. It contains takahe, rare lizards, the North Island robin and shore plover.

DoC says the rat was spotted by a live motion sensor but it does not yet know if there are more.

It says a shore plover nest appears to have been raided, but it is not clear whether a rat or a natural predator, like a hawk, is to blame.